Never Trump

 

lincoln-reagan-trumpOn the eve of Super Tuesday, Republicans face a grave decision: Are we the party of Lincoln and of Reagan, or are we the Party of Donald Trump?

I came of age during the Reagan Revolution. One of my earliest political memories was watching his speech at the 1976 Republican National Convention — one of millions of little kids hungry for optimism and a winsome smile in that unrelentingly bleak era. I didn’t reach voting age until after his re-election, but in high school, Reagan’s ideas inspired me to start reading National Review, argue individual freedom with my liberal civics teacher, and even join the US Navy.

The Republican Party was the home of bold, new ideas rooted in a love for our ancient founding documents. We viewed our nation as a shining city on a hill and invited all our fellow citizens to join us in perfecting this great American experiment.

In 2016, the mood is again bleak. After years of economic stagnation and ethnic strife punctuated by terror attacks, the American people want an easy way out. We don’t trust the feckless political class that has presided over our current malaise, or the economic elites who have been enriched by it. All of us feel angry, betrayed, and fed up.

“The American Dream is dead!” Donald Trump thunders at his angry rallies. “We don’t have victories anymore. The US has become a dumping ground for everyone else’s problems.” His solution is seductively simple: “If I get elected president, I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again!” The smile has been replaced with a scowl.

How will Trump usher in this utopia? He just will. He’ll build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. He’ll start a trade war with China, which will somehow lower prices and create jobs. He’ll pull out of the Middle East, while bombing it and taking their oil. He’ll give everyone government health care, make the economy grow like you wouldn’t believe, and change the First Amendment so people won’t say mean things about him.

The Strong Man on the white horse will save us — not through Congress, the courts, or the Constitution, but merely by willing it. And the price is cheap: All we have to do is admit that the American Experiment is dead. Our Founding Fathers were wrong about that individual liberty nonsense and we should bow to our new king. America will be so great your head will spin.

Trump praises the strength of Vladimir Putin and the Chinese communists who crushed the Tiananmen Square protestors. He approvingly retweets Mussolini fan accounts, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists. He refuses to denounce David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, bizarrely assuming that will help him with voters in the Deep South.

I still hope, and pray, that Republicans won’t fall for this Democratic demagogue. But if Trump were to win the nomination, it would prove that the Party of Lincoln and Reagan was dead.

Political parties are created to serve us, not the other way around. The GOP has been a flawed vehicle to promote individual liberty, a sound national defense, and a dynamic economy. I had to swallow hard to vote for moderates like Romney and McCain. But voting for a big-government liberal is a bridge too far.

If the keys are handed to a would-be strongman, I have no choice but to step out of the car and walk my own way. Unlike many in the GOP establishment, for me principle is always more important than power. My conscience can have it no other way.

I joined the Party of Lincoln and the Party of Reagan. I will leave the Party of Trump.

If that makes me a bad Republican, so be it. I seek to be a good American.

Members have made 172 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Majestyk Thatcher

    Personally, I’d throw the keys off the bridge, like Winger in Stripes.

    • #1
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:24 am
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  2. Profile photo of wmartin Inactive

    Demographics is destiny. As the white population declines, “Ricochet conservatism” fades out of American life. It could not be any other way.

    • #2
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:25 am
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  3. Profile photo of Commodore BTC Member

    I’m all for an Amash/Sasse Constitution ticket (only Republicans in Congress who have said they will never vote for Trump I believe)

    • #3
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:28 am
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  4. Profile photo of Deleted Contributor

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: I joined the Party of Lincoln and the Party of Reagan. I will leave the Party of Trump.

    I’m with you, Jon.

    • #4
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:29 am
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  5. Profile photo of John Hendrix Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: I joined the Party of Lincoln and the Party of Reagan. I will leave the Party of Trump.

    If that makes me a bad Republican, so be it. I seek to be a good American.

    And I am leaving with you.

    • #5
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:29 am
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  6. Profile photo of Bob Wainwright Member

    Whenever I see Trump, I’m reminded of Emperor Palpatine, I think because of the way his eyes look. They’re all baggy and the skin around them is a different color from the rest of his face or something.

    Image result for trump baggy eyes

    • #6
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:29 am
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  7. Profile photo of Fred Houstan Member

    If Trump’s in, I’m out of here as well. In short, My political affiliation as Republican is more pragmatic than cultural. In essence I’m an R as I find the Democrat party’s secular sacrimentalization of abortion abhorrent. Of course, their understanding of economics and reliance on emotional argumentation leaves much to be desired as well. So leaving the R party has always been easy. While I identify with much of the Libertarian Party, their amorality is problematic for me as well. Now, to imagine an explicitly Conservative party…

    • #7
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:32 am
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  8. Profile photo of Deleted Contributor

    wmartin:Demographics is destiny. As the white population declines, “Ricochet conservatism” fades out of American life. It could not be any other way.

    If you’re looking for Trump to fix that, you are barking up the wrong tree.

    • #8
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:33 am
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  9. Profile photo of bagodonuts Member

    Hear, hear. I can’t see myself voting for Trump under any circumstances. Drastic consequences follow for the party if he’s nominated. I know many reliably conservative friends who will under no circumstances vote for him.

    • #9
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:34 am
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  10. Profile photo of Could Be Anyone Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:If the keys are handed to a would-be strongman, I have no choice but to step out of the car and walk my own way. Unlike many in the GOP establishment, for me principle is always more important than power. My conscience can have it no other way.

    I joined the Party of Lincoln and the Party of Reagan. I will leave the Party of Trump.

    But it is not this day……

    • #10
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:34 am
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  11. Profile photo of bagodonuts Member

    wmartin:Demographics is destiny. As the white population declines, “Ricochet conservatism” fades out of American life. It could not be any other way.

    It has little to do with the white population. It has everything to do with a failure to promote a liberal (in the sense of the American founding, classically liberal) culture. Trump makes perfect sense in a world with college campus crammed with cry-bullies.

    • #11
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:37 am
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  12. Profile photo of a Gifted Righter Member

    Is the decline caused by the decrease in one race vs the increase in another or is it a necessary effect of the actions done in order to concentrate power?

    In my opinion, the decline of “white people” and the decay of “ricochet conservatism” are two effects stemming from the same cause.

    I don’t think Liberty is inherently preferred by any race therefore it’s resiliency depends on things that transcend something so simple.

    • #12
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:37 am
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  13. Profile photo of wmartin Inactive

    Frank Soto:

    wmartin:Demographics is destiny. As the white population declines, “Ricochet conservatism” fades out of American life. It could not be any other way.

    If you’re looking for Trump to fix that, you are barking up the wrong tree.

    My candidate is still Cruz, whom I will vote for tomorrow. I will vote for Trump in the general, but will stay at home if the candidate is Rubio.

    • #13
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:39 am
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  14. Profile photo of Deleted Contributor

    wmartin:

    Frank Soto:

    wmartin:Demographics is destiny. As the white population declines, “Ricochet conservatism” fades out of American life. It could not be any other way.

    If you’re looking for Trump to fix that, you are barking up the wrong tree.

    My candidate is still Cruz, whom I will vote for tomorrow. I will vote for Trump in the general, but will stay at home if the candidate is Rubio.

    Bad time to point out that Cruz supported amnesty?

    • #14
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:40 am
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  15. Profile photo of Dave Sussman Contributor

    My Father worked too hard and beat too many odds to get us here. I am not yet ready to give up on this country.

    Our children need us to run up to the bridge, body slam the wanna-be captain, take the wheel and reverse course stat.

    This article should be posted everywhere a Super Tuesday voter can read it. It’s in our hands.

    • #15
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:40 am
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  16. Profile photo of DrewInWisconsin Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:If the keys are handed to a would-be strongman, I have no choice but to step out of the car and walk my own way. Unlike many in the GOP establishment, for me principle is always more important than power. My conscience can have it no other way.

    I joined the Party of Lincoln and the Party of Reagan. I will leave the Party of Trump.

    If that makes me a bad Republican, so be it. I seek to be a good American.

    Well said. To paraphrase ol’ Jane Eyre, we hold on to our principles not for easy times, but for times when we’re faced with awful choices. If we tossed aside our principles for Trump, what would be their worth?

    • #16
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:42 am
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  17. Profile photo of Majestyk Thatcher

    wmartin:

    Frank Soto:

    wmartin:Demographics is destiny. As the white population declines, “Ricochet conservatism” fades out of American life. It could not be any other way.

    If you’re looking for Trump to fix that, you are barking up the wrong tree.

    My candidate is still Cruz, whom I will vote for tomorrow. I will vote for Trump in the general, but will stay at home if the candidate is Rubio.

    I’m trying to figure out where Rubio isn’t just better on any particular issue than Trump.

    Thus far, nobody has shown me a single one.

    • #17
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:42 am
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  18. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    Like.

    • #18
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:43 am
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  19. Profile photo of Paul Dougherty Member

    John Hendrix:

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: I joined the Party of Lincoln and the Party of Reagan. I will leave the Party of Trump.

    If that makes me a bad Republican, so be it. I seek to be a good American.

    And I am leaving with you.

    There will be nothing to leave, at that point.

    • #19
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:45 am
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  20. Profile photo of Whiskey Sam Inactive

    Unless you’re going into open revolt against the federal government, leaving the party won’t do a thing but get Hillary elected. She (of the trail of dead bodies in her naked obsession with power) actually would be the end of the republic, but by all means let’s keep panicking over the Trump bogeyman.

    • #20
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:47 am
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  21. Profile photo of John Davey Member

    Jon has summed up my position in regards to Trump. Clearly the GOP leadership has failed to promote the basic principles of the party, in an effort to win elections, and wrest the reins of power, in service of nothing more than obtaining that power, and in subservience to rank cronyism. However, we still have a modicum of elected politicians at the national level (I’m lookin’ at you Ben Sasse) and even more at the state and local level. We need to stand behind those people, to remove the handles of power from our current congressional power brokers, and the RNC.

    Promoting Donald Trump as a stake in the heart of these power brokers is not a solution – it’s simply adding an accelerant to our burning house.

    Further – anyone standing with Trump, or racing to glom onto the Trump candidacy, in a quest to obtain more influence, or power, needs to be forced to wear it – for eternity. There will never be any redemption for making this choice. Our friend Hugh Hewitt has recently started suggesting reasons for supporting nominee Trump, if it comes to that in the general election, primarily focused on SCOTUS. But for me, abandoning all principle, for a chance, a mere chance, of maintaining a conservative majority, is folly. It’s baby-with-the-bathwater-straw-clutching.

    • #21
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:48 am
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  22. Profile photo of wmartin Inactive

    Frank Soto:

    wmartin:

    Frank Soto:

    wmartin:Demographics is destiny. As the white population declines, “Ricochet conservatism” fades out of American life. It could not be any other way.

    If you’re looking for Trump to fix that, you are barking up the wrong tree.

    My candidate is still Cruz, whom I will vote for tomorrow. I will vote for Trump in the general, but will stay at home if the candidate is Rubio.

    Bad time to point out that Cruz supported amnesty?

    He has been bad on H1B Visas too, but I think he now understands the anti-immigration argument in a way that Rubio does not. Also, nothing terrifies me more than the idea of President Rubio working with immigration fanatic Speaker Paul Ryan on an immigration overhaul.

    • #22
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:50 am
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  23. Profile photo of Deleted Contributor

    Whiskey Sam:Unless you’re going into open revolt against the federal government, leaving the party won’t do a thing but get Hillary elected. She (of the trail of dead bodies in her naked obsession with power) actually would be the end of the republic, but by all means let’s keep panicking over the Trump bogeyman.

    Trump is a life long liberal, and I’m thoroughly convinced that he holds no genuine conservative positions.

    He would be worse, as at least with Clinton, you will have united opposition against her, where as when Trump wants the government to pay for everyone’s healthcare (he said it five times now people) the dems will be on board, and many Republicans will say “Well, he’s our leader; the people voted for him”.

    • #23
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:52 am
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  24. Profile photo of wmartin Inactive

    Majestyk:

    wmartin:

    Frank Soto:

    wmartin:Demographics is destiny. As the white population declines, “Ricochet conservatism” fades out of American life. It could not be any other way.

    If you’re looking for Trump to fix that, you are barking up the wrong tree.

    My candidate is still Cruz, whom I will vote for tomorrow. I will vote for Trump in the general, but will stay at home if the candidate is Rubio.

    I’m trying to figure out where Rubio isn’t just better on any particular issue than Trump.

    Thus far, nobody has shown me a single one.

    I left the Republican party after being radicalized by the Gang of Eight. I want Marco Rubio punished and destroyed pour encourager les autres, and can’t see myself voting for him no matter how many (slippery) ways he recants.

    • #24
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:53 am
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  25. Profile photo of Whiskey Sam Inactive

    Frank Soto:

    Whiskey Sam:Unless you’re going into open revolt against the federal government, leaving the party won’t do a thing but get Hillary elected. She (of the trail of dead bodies in her naked obsession with power) actually would be the end of the republic, but by all means let’s keep panicking over the Trump bogeyman.

    Trump is a life long liberal, and I’m thoroughly convinced that he holds no genuine conservative positions.

    He would be worse, as at least with Clinton, you will have united opposition against her, where as when Trump wants the government to pay for everyone’s healthcare (he said it five times now people) the dems will be on board, and many Republicans will say “Well, he’s our leader; the people voted for him”.

    You don’t think Hillary won’t do exactly what Obama has done and rule by executive decree? When she gets to appoint several Supreme Court justices, the Court will be changed for a generation. She is not Bill and has none of his pathological need to be loved. Trump is a pompous ass and a buffoon, and that’s still a far sight better than Hillary.

    • #25
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:55 am
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  26. Profile photo of Crow's Nest Member

    I support the party of limited government, self-government, deliberation, liberty without anarchy, and the rule of law.

    If the Republican party cannot muster the strength to defend these political virtues, then may it swiftly perish. May its successor rise hale and eager for the fight.

    We were here before you. We will be here after you.

    • #26
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:56 am
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  27. Profile photo of Hoyacon Member

    Whiskey Sam:

    Trump is a pompous ass and a buffoon, and that’s still a far sight better than Hillary.

    It’s not when she kicks his patootie from Boston to Seattle.

    • #27
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:58 am
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  28. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    wmartin:Demographics is destiny. As the white population declines, “Ricochet conservatism” fades out of American life. It could not be any other way.

    I don’t necessarily agree with this. Yes, if we do nothing to try to reach those “non-whites” then things will slowly degenerate into a type of Orwellian chaos. However, we do have the ability to get out there and go into these neighborhoods and explain to them that the Democrats do not want to see them rise to their potential, that government is not going to create an environment where you can reach new heights.

    • #28
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:58 am
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  29. Profile photo of M.P. Thatcher

    Frank Soto: Bad time to point out that Cruz supported amnesty?

    Not to mention that Trump supports amnesty “for the good ones” and he has clearly signaled, to anyone willing to actually listen, that he will compromise on the wall so fast it will make your head spin.

    I say this as someone who has been advocating for over a decade that we need to build a wall, use economic incentives to get illegal immigrants to self-deport and use economic incentives to get Mexico to help us defend our border (a position which Trump has corrupted, in the stupidest possible way, by saying he’s going to “make Mexico pay for the wall.”)

    Trump has taken what should have been an easy, bipartisan position–focused on national security and the integrity of our public institutions–and turned it radioactive, promoting racism and anti-free trade along the way. Trump has done more to guarantee that amnesty will happen than any other single person in America. Yet, his deluded fans still cannot see the truth for their own sad obsessions with racial purity and populist economics and “burning down the system.”

    • #29
    • February 29, 2016 at 11:59 am
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  30. Profile photo of Majestyk Thatcher

    wmartin:

    Majestyk:

    wmartin:

    Frank Soto:

    wmartin:Demographics is destiny. As the white population declines, “Ricochet conservatism” fades out of American life. It could not be any other way.

    If you’re looking for Trump to fix that, you are barking up the wrong tree.

    My candidate is still Cruz, whom I will vote for tomorrow. I will vote for Trump in the general, but will stay at home if the candidate is Rubio.

    I’m trying to figure out where Rubio isn’t just better on any particular issue than Trump.

    Thus far, nobody has shown me a single one.

    I left the Republican party after being radicalized by the Gang of Eight. I want Marco Rubio punished and destroyed pour encourager les autres, and can’t see myself voting for him no matter how many (slippery) ways he recants.

    A genuine supporter of an auto de fe? You look strange without a nose, but at least that pesky face has been made to pay.

    Again: there’s no issue where Rubio hasn’t been better than Trump or where Trump hasn’t more egregiously broken the trust of the American people. He’s a fraud, the employer of illegal immigrants and under as much legal scrutiny from the Government as is Hillary Clinton.

    Some representative of our party.

    • #30
    • February 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm
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